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Why Am I Waiting for People to Change

  I’m still trying to figure out if this is a strength or a flaw. I have this problem where I almost instinctively see the thing in people that I want to see. Some sort of light, or goodness, or hope that I arrogantly feel only I am aware of and only I can bring out.

From one perspective, this helps me to stay positive. And I notice when I treat people as I see them and not as they are, they end up behaving closer to the image I have in my mind. But what does that really mean? Only that they have potential, which is true of even the worst people. Worse, this may only mean they are capable of altering their behaviour to fit the circumstance, usually to some selfish end.

From the other perspective, having this notion that people can change has put me in plenty of situations in which I constantly give people chances. I can recount even recently me speaking to this person and not understanding at all how they can continually behave this way, even though their history has proven to me that this is exactly who they are.

And this person doesn’t necessarily have to be a partner. For me, this is not a girlfriend issue. This is a people issue, or a recognizing who to trust issue.

Waiting for people to change is like drawing a circle. No matter what, you end up in the same place you started. And as I’m writing this I still feel some hesitation within myself because I genuinely want to believe that we all have the capacity for change. That we all have bad moments, or go through rough periods where we aren’t exactly at our best.

And if that’s true, then these people should expect us, the ones who love them and care for them, to be there as they make their way around the ferris wheel.

But that’s really not how it works, is it? I had a thought a few weeks ago. A thought incited by a real life decision. I wrote on my Facebook page that sometimes we just have to let people go, no matter how long they’ve been in our lives and regardless of if we love them. Because if our goal in any friendship or relationship is to wait for someone to change or attempt to spur on that change, then we’ve entered that situation for the wrong reason and it’s time to get out.

Now in writing this, another thought has crossed my mind. Maybe I’M changing. Maybe I’ve already changed. And if this is true, if I’ve really changed, then my expectation that anyone else should change to match who I am now is baseless.

I’m either creating or have created a new me, which means I’m creating or have created a new world for myself. Instead of waiting for anyone else to change, I should be finding people who fit my new world.

Right? Am I making any sense? Is any of this making any sense?

It’s tough when I’m actually going through it to see anywhere outside of my own mind, but this is what I’m feeling. A writer/artist expressing myself the only way I know how. And yet I feel there are countless amounts of people going through this right now who know precisely what I mean.

#PassionAndPaper

Read my novella THOUGHTS OF A FRACTURED SOUL here.

Change and Betrayal

A final word from my short trip to New York. I mentioned that I had the honour of seeing Jhumpa Lahiri speak at the NYPL on west 42nd street near time square. The host and speaker was a man named Paul Holdengraber and he said something that has stuck with me since that evening.

“Every change necessitates a betrayal.”

He was quoting someone else and referring it to the conversation with Jhumpa, but to me those words were everything.

Thinking about the word betrayal; how deep it is, how significant it is within that phrase. Not sacrifice, but betrayal, meaning you mustn’t just remove something from your life as sacrifice suggests, but you must directly oppose that something if you hope to achieve change, or drastic change as I see it. 

In the context of the conversation with Jhumpa, the speaker was referring to her leaving New York for Italy and learning the language so intimately that she has recently written her latest book in full Italian.

In her initial move from the city, Jhumpa left her entire library of of English books behind. All of them. She didn’t take any. For me that showed that she not only had to sacrifice “something” to learn the language, but she had to completely abandon and betray the English language in order to attain the level of fluidity with Italian she set out to achieve.

How many of us can honestly say we are willing to be that bold?

How many of us are willing to go against our common way of thinking, of behaving, of seeing things, so we can transform our lives? And believe me when I say transform is the precise word. The sharper the betrayal, the greater the transformation.

Let that sink in for a while. Let that concept really take its course. So many of us want to do great things, want to be seen as great influencers, but are we willing to betray…

I had to take a hard look at myself, as well. I post so much about my passion for writing, for being a novelist. And though I feel like I can certainly answer affirmatively to the former question, in my own mind I’m left to wonder what exactly that betrayal will look like.

#HistoryOrNothing

Read my debut novella "THOUGHTS OF A FRACTURED SOUL," here.

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